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Hong Kong In For A Surprise As Homegrown Billionaire Secretly Acquires Taiwan’s Landmark Property

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The city of Hong Kong woke up to shocking news recently. Taiwan’s most prestigious luxury hotel, the Mandarin Oriental Taipei, found its ownership had officially changed hands at the end of last month, following a generous transaction of US$1.24 billion, Taiwan Economic Daily News reports.

Mandarin Oriental Taipei, the most prestigious and luxurious hotel in Taiwan. (Source: Mandarin Oriental Taipei Website)

The hotel – which is one of the most iconic hospitality properties in Asia – has been awarded the highest 5 Red Pavilions award by the Michelin Guide Taipei 2018. It plays host to bigwig clients, which include movie stars, politicians, and business tycoons.

In its interview with the press, the hotel management – then led by businessman Lin Ming-chun of Kai Tai Fung International Co Ltd – declined to confirm who the anonymous buyer had been. Speculations floated that the buyer could only be one of Hong Kong’s super-rich businessmen or businesswomen.

Insurance Heir Stuns All in An Extravagant Purchase

The name of the mystery buyer finally came to light this month, and the news has surprised many throughout Greater China. The man behind the acquisition is the owner and Chief Executive Officer of the world’s leading life insurance brokering company R.E. Lee International – Calvin Lo.

Despite actively shying away from any wealth rankings, Lo’s net-worth of US$1.7 billion makes him 43rd richest person in Hong Kong. (Source: Wikipedia)

Lo, who is the heir to the world’s biggest life insurance brokerage dynasty, actively works with the world’s super rich and provides them with comprehensive life insurance policies as part of their estate planning.  His team also specialize in succession planning, estate division, and other wealth planning services. Lo also manages an AUM worth US$8 billion in his self-founded subsidiary asset management firm, R.E. Lee Capital.

While the purchase of a profitable commercial property makes sense for Lo, who is, after all, an enterprising businessman, what is surprising is that he decided to splurge on the iconic Mandarin Oriental Taipei – one of the most expensive properties in all of Taiwan.

Compared to his peers around the world, Lo has always been a reticent billionaire, who has shied away from the public eye. In fact, many Hong Kong-based business tycoons don’t even know who he is. He never give any interviews and always has a security detail around to prevent prying reporters from filming him. When it comes to his investments, Lo is even more cautious and doesn’t display his wealth to the world. For all intents and purposes, Lo is a secretive billionaire who refuses to appear on any rich list. Despite having many other expensive and high-profile assets in his portfolio, the Mandarin Oriental Taipei hotel will continue to be Lo’s most visible investment, predominantly because of the hotel’s legacy in Taiwan.

In addition to the hotel itself, Lo has also purchased the adjacent plot of land measuring 149,446.13 square feet. What plans he has for this property are as yet unknown. However, it is widely reported that Lo and his team have big plans to change the operational and growth strategies of the Mandarin Oriental Taipei property.

Unlike other business people, local media reported that Lo has self-funded his entire purchase. There were no loans or public investments in this venture. The insurance giant ensured there was no fuss about the entire proceedings and efficiently brought the ownership of a very lucrative property under his control.

Privacy is key to this under the radar billionaire, who keeps all of his personal and professional doings a complete secret.  

A Philanthropist with a Large Heart

Not only is Lo an unassuming man who keeps a low profile, but he is also one of Hong Kong’s leading philanthropists. The business heir supports NGOs across the city, both anonymously and with his name. He is also a nature lover who is a part of the Jane Goodall Institute board. A large part of his finances goes towards the well-being of animals, the community and the environment.

Lo has set up different charitable trusts worth US$245 million for his philanthropic initiatives. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Editorial

Achieving Success And Overcoming Obstacles In The Modern Entrepreneurial Industry; The Rio Osorio Way!

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As Entrepreneurs, we face obstacles and setbacks that seem impossible to overcome. The good thing about this is that each time, we often come out better off in the end than we were at the start. Yes, I won’t lie. Entrepreneurship is totally different from what society portrays. 

Every day, entrepreneurs are subjugated by their fears, inconsistencies, and losses; but what most individuals tend to forget is that failure is the condiment of their success. 

Amongst these entrepreneurs is brand strategist Rio Osorio. Widely Known as The Hustle Mentor, Rio is an entrepreneur who’s risen above his failures by putting in outrageous amounts of hard work to perfect his craft, and building long-lasting relationships with partners by providing more value than he receives. 

Some time ago, I had the opportunity to discuss entrepreneurship with Rio; he reveals the principles he applied to attain his level of success. These principles transformed his life and can change yours too.

Principles of Business Success

1.Loyalty

Loyalty is something that’s lacking in the entrepreneurial society today. Rio explains that a lot of entrepreneurs chase cheques, are selfish and don’t bother about the end goals of their clients.

Most successful businesses today are obsessed with making sure their customers achieve their goals. Essentially, they put the customer first before any other thing! This is a mantra that shouldn’t be overlooked when running a business.

2.Continuous learning 

They say that the average CEO reads a total of 54 books every year. This habit might seem overkill, but I guarantee you it’s not. Business owners have to observe this habit to flow with current industry trends.

Staying conscious of what’s happening in the corporate world is crucial to running a thriving business and setting the standard for excellence in your field.

Continuous learning, as some might call it, has given Rio a competitive edge in business, and he shares that this is one of the key factors contributing to his success in business.

3. Mentorship

Starting a business is a daunting task for many. You’ll face opposition from loved ones, pressure from the competition, time restraints, and a host of other obstacles.

At the start of his entrepreneurial journey, Rio faced most of these challenges. He overcame them by seeking out mentors who guided him through every one of those problems. 

Not only is this an easier alternative to figuring things out yourself, but it’s also a way to shorten the path to success.  Don’t get me wrong, the road to success is treacherous, but having the right people to hold your hand can make the journey less challenging.

Try not to be the smartest person in the room- Michael Dell of Dell Technologies.

Handling the Stress of Being an Entrepreneur

1.Disconnect

There are some days when we feel like our world is coming down on us, and for those of us whose businesses operate mostly online, the effect of this is triple-fold.

The endless messages from clients, problems sprouting from every corner, and the need to over-deliver can be overwhelming. When you notice your stress levels picking up, Rio recommends you take some time off work; you could call it a work detox. 

Start by switching off your phone and any other device that might bring in disturbances from clients and team members. This will significantly reduce your stress levels, and in a day or two, you would be back to your healthy self.

2.Friends and family

Mental health is another overlooked aspect of entrepreneurship. We often engross ourselves with work and forget that human beings are social animals; we can’t stay alone forever. 

Rio shares with us that spending time with our loved ones is also a great way to disconnect from all the noise. Little things like hanging out with friends, going to a baseball game, or even watching a movie can mean the difference between you having a mental breaking or building a successful business.

Facing Fears

Uncertainty is a common trait all entrepreneurs possess. We see ourselves asking questions like, ” What if the client doesn’t accept my offer?”Are my services not good enough? Should I fire this team member? Will I break even this quarter?

The questions are endless, and we often find ourselves getting caught up in answering them. This uncertainty is the primary reason most individuals don’t venture into entrepreneurship. 

Why would you leave a secure job to start a business you’re not sure would see the light of day? After years of being in the business, Rio affirms that there is nothing as rewarding as being an entrepreneur. 

Yes! The tasks at hand might seem impossible, and your efforts might look silly, but if you’re willing to put in an ample amount of work and provide enough value to your clients, you’ll uncover an endless stream of income no 9-5 job can guarantee.

At the end of our discussion, Rio spoke about the chances he didn’t take when he was younger; he shared a few words of advice to anyone who’s just starting their journey.

This is what he said;

Entrepreneurship requires you to do things that would make you feel uncomfortable. You’ll have to learn to leave your comfort zone.

I understand your fears, but you have to realize that you’ll miss every shot you don’t take. So instead of sitting and whining about the opportunities you missed, I suggest you do it scared, deal with the fear and go for it! 

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Achieving Success As a Student Entrepreneur, The Robert Carpenter Way.

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College Student Robert Carpenter is on a mission to change the world by improving on the current online educational system.

Today, we will learn what Robert feels every student who is striving for success should know. Here’s Robert’s take on success, stress, and motivation.

Achieving Success

As a student, success in your studies should be your number one concern. 

But let’s face facts; success is not something that can be easily achieved. There are a lot of factors that determine whether you will be successful or not.

And one of those factors is how you spend your time. Would you prefer to play video games all day with friends, or would you feed your mind with tons of valuable information at the library?

You see, these little choices and actions we make daily can significantly affect our chances of success. Robert is a major believer in learning something new every day. As a matter of fact, he spends hours daily perfecting his craft.

It might not look like it, but Robert is actually giving himself a competitive edge against his peers. Think of it this way;  an overweight individual goes to the gym to lose some pounds; the first day, he notices that he doesn’t lose any weight. He felt bad but kept on visiting the gym and working out.

Subsequent visits to the gym proved successful. He lost over 60 pounds. The key takeaway here is consistency and determination. Apply these principles started here, and you’ll be on your way to achieving success in no time at all.

Avoiding Stress & Drawing Inspiration.

Every day, students face a lot of stressful situations. And a lot of times, this leads to mental breakdowns, illness, and burnout. 

Robert avoids this by proper planning. Today, most students don’t acknowledge the fact that proper planning can significantly reduce the stress they experience and increase their chances of success. 

Planning your day the night before can help you split the task thought out the day and complete them faster based on decreasing priority. 

So you’ve tried this, and you still ended up experiencing burnout. Well, here’s the thing; everyone has experienced burnout at some point in their lives. And in this state, they undergo emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion. You will feel less motivation to accomplish tasks, and your overall output will be little.

When Robert experiences burn out, he takes a break and finds a quiet place to sit down and reflect on his goals, why he started, and what he’s going to achieve at the end. This helps him prioritize his goals, and instantly, a strong desire to fulfill those goals overwhelms him.

In Recent Times

Robert plans to study and practice math every day. This is the only way he can make an impact on society and help fellow students around him who strive to attain success.

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It runs In the family: Amel Elezovic and Anes Elezovic

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Director Amel Elezovic and athlete Anes Elezovic are mega-talented brothers, working in the same industry. They share their favourite memories of stealing candy, running with cheetahs, and being there for each other when things get rough

What’s your first memory of each other?

Amel: One of my earliest memories is of Anes learning to sit up. I was asked to take care of him one evening. Normally he would just roll over but that afternoon, he just balanced himself and sat up. I was thrilled.

Anes: Me and Amel are twins so I remember when we were 12 and we celebrated halloween together and Amel dressed up really weird, at first I thought it was another person. He had long hair in a ponytail, a beard, and was wearing black. He created a late-night commotion in the house and I was like, “who is this guy?”

What is the craziest thing you have done together?

Amel: We haven’t had the opportunity to do a lot of crazy things together but I know we will…soon.

Anes: We went running with some cheetahs on leashes in Kruger National Park. We were also the only two people there when my grandmother passed away. It was very sad and emotional, as she was someone we both adored deeply.

What did you get punished for the most as a child?

Amel: I was a very assertive and curious child, constantly challenged my parents and got on their nerves, and got reprimanded. I never got punished as such.Anes: At age eight, I stole some money from my dad’s wallet, ran all the way to the market alone and bought the most expensive Japanese candy I could find. My mum wasn’t very happy when she heard about all this.

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The Disrupt Podcast tells the stories of the world top entrepreneurs, developers, creators, and digital marketers and help empower them to teach others the skills they used to grow their careers, chase their passions and create financial freedom for themselves, their families, and their lives, all while living out their true purpose. We recognize the fact that most young people are opting to skip college in exchange for entrepreneurship and real life experience. This Podcast is designed to give them a taste of that.

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